Coordination and fine motor control depend on Drosophila TRPγ

Bradley Akitake, Qiuting Ren, Nina Boiko, Jinfei Ni, Takaaki Sokabe, James D. Stockand, Benjamin A. Eaton, Craig Montell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Motor coordination is broadly divided into gross and fine motor control, both of which depend on proprioceptive organs. However, the channels that function specifically in fine motor control are unknown. Here we show that mutations in trpγ disrupt fine motor control while leaving gross motor proficiency intact. The mutants are unable to coordinate precise leg movements during walking, and are ineffective in traversing large gaps due to an inability in making subtle postural adaptations that are requisite for this task. TRPγ is expressed in proprioceptive organs, and is required in both neurons and glia for gap crossing. We expressed TRPγ in vitro, and found that its activity is promoted by membrane stretch. A mutation eliminating the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger suppresses the gap-crossing phenotype of trpγ flies. Our findings indicate that TRPγ contributes to fine motor control through mechanical activation in proprioceptive organs, thereby promoting Ca2+ influx, which is required for function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7288
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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